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The story of Bodu Takurufan part 3
As told by the famous Burara Mohamed Fulu and written by Al-hajj Ibrahim Ibn Ismail Feeboa
Translated by Fareesha Abdulla, assisted by Majid Abdul-Wahhab and Michael O'Shea
2000-2011


Thus with the approval of the elite, Rehendi Kabafan the elder daughter of the deceased king was placed on the throne. She realised that a woman alone could not run the kingdom of Maldives; in particular she could not attend mosque for Friday and Eid prayers. So Rehendi Kabafan married her father's chief minister and brought him to the royal quarters. He performed the prayer duties for Friday and Eid, passed on the orders of the crown and made sure they were carried out. After a while the chief minister believed he had enough support among the nobles, officials and two regiments to take over the monarchy. He removed the queen from her quarters and took control of the throne.

Stripped of her power, Rehendi Kabafan was furious. I inherited the crown, she thought. I shouldn't just give up and throw it all away.
She prepared a meal for her usurper and sent it to him. After he fell asleep, the queen went at midnight to the drum house and beat the command to call out the two militia regiments. When they gathered at the main square she came out of the palace and addressed them.
'Who is your monarch?' she asked.
'Your ladyship is our ruler by the power of your ancestry,' they replied.

So she recovered the throne and at the first light of day the usurper was buried. However she still needed someone to attend the prayers on Friday and for Eid. So she married her father's second minister. Two years later this man also decided his experience and popularity with the nobles and high officials would gain him the throne. He removed the queen from her quarters, but once again she wouldn't retire without a fight, and she prepared a meal for her husband. He ate it and fell asleep, and the queen went to the drum house and summoned the two regiments.
'Who is your monarch?' she asked when they had assembled.
'The crown came to you, O queen, from your ancestors. Are you not our rightful monarch?'

Thus Rehendi Kabafan was restored and the next day the second minister was buried. From then on, she stayed single and reigned for a long time before she fell ill and died. The two regiments were summoned and her body was washed, dressed and placed in its coffin.

The high officials and nobles placed the younger daughter of Veeru Umar on the throne, and Rehendi Kabafan was buried and her funeral rituals performed. The new queen also began to think that a woman alone could not run Maldives so she married her father's third minister. He was given responsibility for royal orders and making sure they were carried out, and after three years he too decided that he had enough support among the two regiments to take over. He divorced the queen and removed her from the royal quarters but again she would not retire easily from a crown that was rightly hers. Like her elder sister, she prepared a meal for her ex-husband and he ate it and fell asleep. At midnight the queen went to the drum house and summoned the regiments. They gave her full support and the next day the minister who had taken the throne was buried. After this experience the queen decided to not to get married again.

During her reign, trading ships from Chittagong visited Male'. One day, along with the first rays of the sun, a ship anchored in the harbour. The queen summoned the harbour master and told him to find out where the ship was from and where it was going, and then report back to her. The harbour master called out to the vessel and heard that it was from Chittagong and had come to trade. The foreigners landed with their merchandise and set up temporary trading shelters.

While they were trading tax-free, two children on board the vessel asked to be allowed to land but the captain wouldn't let them off the ship. After trading was over, the goods were packed on board and it was time to load drinking water. The captain told the crew to take the boys with them, 'so they can at least say they have seen the Maldives'. A small boat was prepared and the crewmen landed to collect water. They went to a well with two barrels and a couple of buckets which they gave to the boys. Telling them to fill the barrels, the crew returned to the ship. The boys talked together and agreed they hadn't really seen anything of Maldives and decided to escape and hide. They threw the buckets beside the well and ran off to hide in the quinine plants in the Lonuziyaraiy Kolhu area. When the boat returned, the crewmen couldn't find the boys and they informed the captain.

The captain in turn reported it to the court, asking for help to find the boys. The court sent a message to the four wards and the mosque keepers and officials gathered at various public squares. The chiefs of the wards arrived and some people went everywhere searching for the missing boys. While this was happening, others gathered and began to say, 'They haven't run away after stealing the queen's treasure or committing murder or arson. They haven't stolen anything so just check the houses; that's enough.'

They searched the houses and when the boys weren't found they reported this to the court which passed it on to the captain. The captain decided to set sail on Thursday afternoon. When the boys heard the cannon signalling that the ship had passed through Gadoo Koa, they realised they didn't need to hide anymore. They walked to the bushy area known as Valu Maizan just as the sun set.

A man known as Don Hassan who lived nearby was wandering around trying to find someone to recite the 'night before Friday' prayers. He noticed the two boys, and called out, asking if they would come to his house to recite the prayer at his house. As Don Hassan came closer he realised they were the boys from the ship. Hassan was middle-aged and had never had children. I'll look after these two youngsters and adopt them as my own, he thought. He took them with him to his house and left them while he went out again in search of someone to recite the prayers. He found somebody and after the prayers Hassan served dinner to the boys and put them to sleep on the large bench bed.

The boys were still asleep next morning when Don Hassan woke up with the first rays of the sun and washed his face, ate breakfast and walked around the island in search of a learned man. He brought the man home and the two boys were circumcised. When they recovered, he sent them to school where they were educated and taught the difference between right and wrong.
Unfortunately in the midst of this, Don Hassan fell ill and died.

After his death, Hassan's house and land became government property and someone else took over. The two boys were told they couldn't stay there anymore and they had to go. The boys slept in the house that night, and at first light they went to the northern side of the island and stopped under the tree where a Huvadhu atoll tax odi was unloading its cargo.
'Hey boys,' said the tax collector, 'would you watch over these things and keep the crows away. You don't have to do it for nothing, you'll get a piece of sugared coconut cake.'
The tax collector left them in charge while he took part of his cargo to the treasurer's house. When he returned the boys asked, 'Sir, where is the cake you promised?'
'We haven't finished taking away these things yet. You'll get your reward then,' said the tax collector.
He went off with more of the goods to the treasurer's house and then returned for the rest.
'Hey sir, where is the cake you said you were going to give us?' the boys asked again.
'Children your age won't stop pestering people once they've been promised something!' said the tax collector. He angrily kicked a cake from the bundle towards them. The two boys ran up, bent over and grabbed it. One of them was kicked by the collector's foot.

They sat with their cake on the buttress roots of a tree growing where Henveiru gate is now.
'There's nothing we can do today around here,' the boys said to each other. 'This isn't our country.'
They broke the cake in half and ate it.
'These days we have to submit to being kicked or spat on, or hit with something. Let's hope a time comes when, God willing, we won't experience such things.'

As the boys were talking, the treasurer walked by and after spotting them he stopped under the tree. He realised they were the ones who had run away from the ship. The treasurer also didn't have any children, so he decided to take them home and keep them as his own. He asked the boys to accompany him and when they arrived at his house he asked them their names and where they were born. One was called Nasurat and the other Salih.

The boys became familiar with the workings of the house and started doing a lot of the treasurer's tasks until he eventually found himself with nothing to do. In fact he never even checked if anything was done or not. The two boys ran the government!

Sometime later Salih was taken ill and died, leaving Nasurat to handle the government matters. This situation continued for a long time until the old treasurer became sick and died. The nobles and high officials went to the palace and said to the daughter of king Veeru Umar, 'The treasurer has passed on. We need a new one, don't you think?'
'Choose the person you want. I'll accept your decision,' replied the queen.
The nobles and senior court officials said that choosing anyone from Male' would mean training that person from the beginning. So they asked whether a person with 'hands-on' experience would be acceptable.
'I'm happy with whoever you chose,' the queen repeated.
'We wish to give the position to the person who has experience and knows how it is done,' they said.
The queen agreed and Nasurat became the new treasurer.

A long time later, the queen became ill and died. The nobles and officials summoned the two regiments with the beating of the drums and her body was washed, dressed and placed in her coffin. Before the body was buried, the two regiments said that a new monarch must be chosen. The dead queen had no children. In fact, except for the treasurer, there was no one with the intellect or wisdom to rule. Nasurat was summoned and seated upon the throne. Now the deceased monarch was buried with appropriate ritual and a tomb erected. Then the official document was circulated naming the new king as Nasuradeen.




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